Texas Attorney General Opinion: GA-0971 Page: 1 of 3
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ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS
GREG ABB OTT
September 24, 2012
The Honorable Russell W. Malm Opinion No. GA-0971
Midland County Attorney
500 North Loraine, Suite 1101 Re: Authority of a county bail bond board with regard
Midland, Texas 79701 to attorneys who execute bail bonds: Clarification
of Attorney General Opinion No. GA-0197 (2004)
Dear Mr. MaIlm:
You ask two questions related to a bail bond board's authority to prohibit an attorney from
executing a bail bond or acting as a surety for another person as authorized by Occupations Code
section 1704,1 63. Chapter 1704 of the Occupations Code governs the regulation of bail bond
sureties. See TEX. OCC. CODE ANN. 1704,001-,306 (West 2012). Except as provided by section
1704 163, a person may not act as a bail bond surety unless the person holds a license issued under
that chapter. Id, 1704.151. Section 1704,.163, titled the "Attorney Exemption," creates an
exemption to the bail bond licensing requirements in certain limited circumstances for individuals
licensed to practice law in this state. Id. 1704.163(a). Your questions pertain to subsection
1704.163(b), which states, "[a] person executing a bail bond or acting as a surety under this section
may not engage in conduct involved with that practice that would subject a bail bond surety to
license suspension or revocation," IM 1704.163(b), Also relevant to your request, section
1704.252 gives a bail bond board discretion to suspend or revoke the license of a bail bond surety
if the license holder engages in one of sixteen categories of conduct, including instances where a
license holder "is finally convicted under the laws of this state, another state, or the United States
of an offense that: (A) is a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or a felony; and (B) is committed
after August 27, 1973," Id 1704.252(5),
See Letter from Honorable RusseI W. Mam, Midland Cnty. Att'y, to Honorable Greg Abbott, Tex. Att'y Gen.
(Apr. 27, 2012), http: //texasattorneyge.eral .gov/opin ("Request Letter ").
'Chapter 1704 applies only in a county with a population of I 110,000 or more or in a county that has exercised
its discretion to create a county bail bond board. Tex. Occ. CODEr. ANN. 170402 (West ~0l 2). You subit you
request in your capacity as Midland County Attorney, and we note that Midland County has a population in excess of
I 10,000. See U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Dep't of Commerce, 2010 Census of Population: Texas Quick Facts (population
of Midland Cnty. 136,872), http://quickfcts.ceisus.gov.
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: GA-0971, text, 2012; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth275867/m1/1/: accessed December 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.